In certain cases, before dental implantation, a bone grafting operation must be done. Although it sounds frightening, it is a routine procedure with minimum intervention. During bone grafting the missing bone in the jaw is augmented. With this we ensure a solid base for dental implantation.
The main points of the article are the following:
- Reasons and symptoms of bone defects. Reversal of process
- Main types of bone grafting
- A special bone grafting is lifting the base of the maxillary sinus (Sinus lift)
- Process of bone grafting
- Dental bone graft complications. Possible risks of bone grafting
- Advice on mitigating complications after bone grafting for dental implants.
A long-lasting prosthesis, a far-gone periodontal disease, or tooth loss in an accident can lead to a bone defect. Furthermore, smoking has a serious risk factor for this disease. In the beginning, the damage is hardly recognizable, because tooth loss does not really come together with significant pain. The main symptoms of a far-gone bone defect are the following: bleeding gum, sensitive and swollen palate, bad breath, loose teeth, and weakening bites. Due to bone grafting, after the process, if our body accepts the new material, the new live bones could start to develop. A strong jaw is needed for other operations such as implantation.
The bone used during bone grafting has human and synthetic origins. The human bone can stem from the patient’s own body or from a donor. The specialist makes the decision on the exact type of bone grafting after consulting with the patient and examining his/her condition.
The dentist takes into consideration all important factors from the patient’s background; furthermore, he/she carries out physical examinations too before the operation. Here are the different bone grafting procedures. Some risk factors and advantages are also listed in certain categories.
Bone grafting with your own bone
In this process, the bone is taken from another part of the patient’s own body. Then it is fixed on the place where bone grafting is done. In order to reach an entire recovery and to reduce the danger of rejection the safest way is to do bone grafting with your own bones.
Bone grafting with a donor
The donor can be another living person, a dead person, or even an animal. Its indisputable advantage is that there is no need for multiple operations on the patient. This way the risk of contamination decreases. Of course, the bone to be grafted has gone through strict examinations before grafting. Moreover, antibiotics are applied to it and it is treated with materials supporting ossification.
Bone grafting with synthetical materials
Owing to the continuous improvement of surgery technology there are high-quality synthetic materials available today. The biggest advantage of synthetic materials is that they do not contain living cells. Therefore, the risk of ejection is quite low. Since the bone used in bone grafting does not contain living bone marrow, so there is no need to have matching blood groups between donors and patients. These are biodegradable materials that are quite safe. In certain cases, though, it can happen that the body accepts them harder.
If the jaw is too thin on the territory of the side teeth of the upper jaw, you need to lift the base of the maxillary sinus. At this time the upper jaw is opened towards the maxilla. From the surface of the maxilla its covering mucosa is cut by surgeries. Then it is lifted up gently. In its place there will be a hole that is being filled with the bone grafting material. Due to the operation during healing the bone layer of the upper jaw becomes thicker. Thus, the tooth implantation can be directly inserted.
Before the operation your dentist makes a thorough examination and checks your previous medical history. Thereafter he makes decisions with you together on the type of bone grafting. The specialist tells you all the related information about the process. Bone grafting is carried out with anaesthetization. Thus, patients feel no pain during the intervention.
Depending on the chosen process the specialist makes the necessary cut or cuts and makes the implementation with the chosen material. In the end, he/she closes the surgical wound. After the operation the dentist explains all the necessary information to the patient. Later on controls and, if it is needed, implantation interventions are done. It can happen that the bone grafting and the implementation process take place at the same time.
Owing to modern medical science complications of bone grafting have been reduced to the minimum. However, like all operations, it also has some risks. After bone grafting, you can experience the common side-effects of surgeries (such as bleeding, the danger of contamination, and a bad reaction to anaesthetization).
- nerve damage,
- implanted material gets rejected,
- absorption of implanted material,
Symptoms of side effects after most operations can be treated or mitigated quite well. In more serious cases the implanted material during bone grafting gets rejected, or it does not properly develop with other parts of the skeleton.
When experiencing this, it can happen that another intervention is necessary after the operation. Then the implanted material is taken out and another bone grafting procedure is carried out on the patient.
In the last point, you can read about some useful tips on how to mitigate symptoms of side effects after bone grafting.
Like all operations bone grafting also comes together with an unpleasant feeling. Usually, the pain during intervention is not really severe. It is similar to the pain experienced during extracting tooth.
The anaesthetization before the operation, and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by the doctor can help in tolerating the pain and they help in the healing of surgical wounds.
Bone grafting generally causes swelling. Besides medicine, chilling is also very useful after the operation since it mitigates swelling and bleeding; and pain.
Until you feel the impact of anaesthetization, do not eat or drink. After bone grafting you need to keep a diet required by the dentist. Diet is tailor-made for each person. In general, we can say you need to avoid crunchy or hard food where you chew too much. Stop drinking coffee, tea, or alcohol if possible. Smoking is strictly prohibited for patients suffering from bone defects. Cold liquids and juices are the best choices after bone grafting. Other recommended food is different soups and shakes. Food demanding less chewing like mashed potatoes, oat flakes, scrambled eggs, and pudding should be consumed according to the dentist’s prescriptions.
After bone grafting patients are advised to sleep on their backs. Put the pillow under your head to reduce the risk of further bleeding in the area of operation. If sleeping on your back, though, causes a problem for you, turn to the opposite side of the area of operation.
After bone grafting takes off some days to relax. Avoid demanding activities.
For teeth care please use a toothbrush with soft brush fibres after the operation.
In case of any unexpected, exaggerated, or extraordinary complications or cases not listed in this article, feel free to contact your dentist. As our article reveals, there is an appropriate solution for healing damaged jaws. Thanks to modern technology we do not have to give up restructuring our missing teeth even if they are in a serious stage.